Following the success of Equity’s mobile platform, Equitel, which currently disburses loans of up to Sh3 million, the bank says it will use the service to process mortgages and asset-backed loans in a bid to grow its loan book.
According to the group chief executive James Mwangi, the loan appraisal will be automated with confirmation and valuation of the asset – which require human action – being the final steps.
“We will process the loan and then invite the customer to come and close it by providing security,” Mr Mwangi said.
The technology, which will be a first in Kenya’s mortgage sector, is gaining currency in developed countries where customers spend about 30 minutes engaging with a bank’s mobile app to obtain a mortgage offer, after which they scan and email documents to the lender for identification and verification.
The digitisation of Equity Bank’s asset finance comes at a time when mobile banking is becoming the battleground for lenders as most of them have partnered with Equity’s rival M-Pesa to offer mobile loans.
The platform had processed a total of 5.3 million loans valued at Sh30 billion at the end of September since its launch a year earlier.
Equity Bank recently said that Equitel controls 15 per cent of the local mobile money transfer market, which transacted Sh956 billion in the first half of the year.